Brick is an attractive, low-maintenance material, yet over time can become damaged and crack. Mason repairs must be conducted regularly in cold climates to maintain structural integrity if cracks appear as cracking is likely to become structurally unstable.

Repointing or mortar patching are effective solutions for fixing brick walls, though both require careful preparation to ensure cracks close properly.

Steps to repair cracked brick walls

Remove Damaged Mortar

Cracked brick walls may develop for various reasons: poor design and construction, natural disasters or interaction between different structural elements may all lead to cracking in a wall. Cracks may range in depth; from very shallow to long. How they are addressed depends on their nature: those which threaten structural integrity of a building should be repaired by professional masons, while cosmetic ones can be filled in using mortar dyed to match the existing color of the wall itself.

Before beginning repair of brick walls, it’s essential to first remove old mortar and debris using either a masonry grinder or cold chisel. Also remove any bricks which have become loose from their placement as well as broken ones; dampen down your walls since dry brick will deplete moisture from new mortar and keep it from setting properly.

After you have cleaned and wetted your brick, make your new mortar following manufacturer instructions to ensure you use an equal mixture of sand, cement and water. Apply this mixture using a trowel; starting from the top down ensures that there will be no sagging or drag when applying fresh mortar.

While you might be tempted to simply cover cracked areas with plaster, traditional mortar may be more suitable as this will ensure that it sticks more firmly with brick than just plaster underneath it.

If you are repairing one brick at a time, start by spreading out new mortar evenly with a trowel to ensure it will stick, before inserting your replacement brick into its opening in the opening and pushing until flush with all surrounding bricks. Finally, drag your trowel over it to smooth over any excess mortar that remains before dragging off with the trowel.

removing damaged mortar from cracked brick wall

Use a pointing tool to shape the mortar joints. These tools come in all sorts of shapes and sizes ranging from concave to V-joints and can help shape them to imitate brick’s original appearance or mold them into an wavy profile like its original bricks. If there is a larger crack, use one to form a small ridge in the center of the mortar joint for increased hold.

Clean the Wall

Brick walls are generally strong and long-term investments, yet they can still succumb to issues that cause cracking. Employing appropriate repair methods helps extend their lifespans while also preventing serious structural damage which may lead to interior water damage as well as other potential complications.

Step one in repairing brick wall cracks is cleaning the affected area thoroughly. It is wise to choose a cleaning product specifically tailored for brick surfaces as harsh chemicals may damage or discolor them permanently. After applying and thoroughly rubbing in the solution, a stiff brush should be used to scrub off any remaining dust or grime with stiff pressure.

Removing bricks to expose any loose or crumbling mortar is often recommended, with wire brushing often being sufficient. Once cleaned up, any cracks should be filled using mortar repair caulk or special brick sealant according to manufacturer instructions for curing time and curing process – taking special care not to disturb their drying processes as much as possible.

Once cracks have been repaired, breathable sealant should be applied to all brick surfaces to prevent future moisture problems and extend its lifecycle. When selecting an effective sealant it’s crucial that it does not block pores, as doing so could compromise brick walls.

clean repaired brick wall

Cracked bricks typically result from improper construction or design, though these cracks tend to be minor and easily fixable. More serious cracks may indicate structural issues; in such cases, professional builders should be called in. Moving horizontal cracks indicate differential settlement when soil beneath foundation shifts or collapses – such cracks will need professional reinforcements in order to stop further movement and costly repairs down the line. Furthermore, an experienced builder could recommend corrective measures like installing wall ties as possible solutions.

Fill the Cracks

Brick is an extremely long-term material, yet even it must eventually deteriorate over time. Cracked brick walls may crack due to shifting foundations or water pressure build-up behind the wall; regardless of their cause, cracked bricks indicate something is amiss and must be addressed as quickly as possible.

Repairing cracks early is often cheaper and helps ensure the brick wall remains structurally sound, eliminating further costs later. If you are uncertain as to the source of its cracking, having an expert examine it prior to beginning any work may also help save money and effort in repairs later.

If your cracks are caused by foundation shifting, professional masons should be hired to dig down and repair or replace damaged sections as well as add supports to hold up brick walls. Soil under an area of your house can shift due to tree branches falling onto it, construction activities or digging activities in its vicinity causing heavy loads on that section of it – most commonly from nearby trees, digging or construction activities.

Cracked brick walls may also form from thermal expansion and contraction of both wall materials and mortar. When exposed to hot sun, the wall expands, then as it cools it contracts back down; this constant expansion and contraction put brick walls at risk of cracking over time.

Freeze-thaw cycles can also pose a considerable threat to brick walls. Since both materials are permeable, any water trapped inside cracks freezes and then thaws repeatedly, exerting enormous pressure on their structural integrity – leading to further damage as the crack re-opens and allows more moisture into the wall.

Filling cracks in a brick wall instead of replacing broken pieces is more cost-efficient and invasive than replacing broken bricks, as fillers need to blend with its current color. To do this, first chisel out the crack to create a backward-angled cut in its surface – this allows filler material to better adhere with existing brickwork – before cleaning out gravel or debris that might prevent adhesion of filler material to existing brickwork using a trowel force; once that surface is clean, fill any voids with filler material which you can then sculpt into its existing joints once dry – creating seamless walls of color!

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Apply a Sealant

Brick walls are sturdy structures, yet they can still be damaged by extreme weather conditions, freeze/thaw cycles or shifting foundations. Such issues can wreak havoc in your home and require extensive remediation measures.

At first sign of brick wall cracks, it’s essential to address them immediately. Doing so will prevent the problem from becoming worse and can save money in repair costs in the future. In some instances, structural issues with your house could prove extremely expensive; as soon as signs of movement or cracking appear in its brickwork it is imperative that a professional builder be brought in right away.

repaired brick walls

If your brick wall has small cracks, the first step in repairing them should be thorough cleaning to remove debris that may obstruct adhesion of repair material. After this is completed, use high-quality exterior filler to fill any cracks using straight lines with a filling knife, before applying a breathable sealant over it to protect it against future moisture damage and extend its lifespan.

Wide, top-to-bottom brick wall cracks can be repaired through tuckpointing, which utilizes two distinct mortar colors to simulate fine joints between bricks. When performing this procedure, it’s essential that it match up with original brick color, texture and size as closely as possible to ensure adhesion; additionally, broken bricks displaced by cracks should be replaced to protect future damage.

Horizontal brick cracks are a serious hazard that should be immediately addressed by a professional builder. Horizontal cracks result from soil pressure pushing against your home’s footing and foundation, potentially resulting in collapse.

When repairing cracked brick walls, it is essential to use high-quality materials compatible with your existing brickwork, while adhering to manufacturer instructions for curing times. Homeowners may benefit from hiring a professional builder, who has all of the tools and expertise required for optimal repairs. In cases where cracks reveal larger structural issues, professional builders will recommend and implement appropriate remedial measures to address them.